What Orbán didn't talk about

In his annual state of the nation address, Hungary's Prime Minister Viktor Orbán praised the success of his policies. He also attacked US billionaire George Soros and the "tired Brussels elites." Hungarian media take a critical view of the leader's statements and call attention to the issues he failed to mention.

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Népszava (HU) /

PM lives in a parallel world

Orbán needs to take a reality check, Népszava concurs:

“The prime minister's priorities seem far removed from what Hungarians find important. If the so-called people one day take stock of the past year, they will certainly draw attention to emigration, the health system whose performance is a disgrace even in a regional comparison, the education system which is cementing Hungary's backwardness, and the three to four million people living in hopeless poverty. ... The prime minister paid little attention to these problems. The issues he spoke about are not in the top ten on our list, or even the top 100.”

Magyar Hang (HU) /

Hiding the concern

Orbán put on a show of self-confidence but he has every reason to worry, Magyar Hang believes:

“The picture that Orban painted in his speech was irritatingly rosy. At least half of all Hungarians aren't experiencing either their own situation or that of their country as positively as he claimed. ... When he talked about the challenges of the near future, he came noticeably closer to reality. ... It may be that Viktor Orbán is seriously concerned that the European economy is losing momentum and that the favourable conditions that have played into his hands so far no longer exist. ... The confident prime minister has declared himself the conqueror of the past, but the insecurity of the future undoubtedly worries him.”

Süddeutsche Zeitung (DE) /

Decision made easier for the EPP

After this speech there can be no more talk of Orbán having become more moderate, the Süddeutsche Zeitung comments:

“Orbán remains Orbán. He appeals to Greater Hungary ambitions, attacks the alleged enemy of the state George Soros and mocks the 'intellectuals' in Brussels, who are simply unable to appreciate how successful he has been in government. Of course, one can dismiss the speech, saying the prime minister was merely blowing his own horn. But in combination with Orban's recent attacks on academic freedom and the independence of the judiciary, a clearer picture is emerging. Hopefully the EPP, which so far has been unable to reach a verdict on whether Fidesz should remain a member, will have an easier time reaching a decision now.”

Magyar Nemzet (HU) /

National sovereignty has been restored

The pro-government daily Magyar Nemzet is full of praise for Orbán's policies:

“With two-thirds of society behind him, the Fidesz-KDNP alliance has taken risky but effective measures. It has imposed a special tax on financial institutions and made sure that multinational companies share public burdens. ... After the economy stabilised, it renationalised public utilities that the [social democratic] MSZP and [liberal] SZDSZ government had sold off. The gradual restoration and bolstering of national souvereignty served as a basis for encouraging economic growth, reducing unemployment and promoting the family.”